Del Zotto patiently awaits another chance

Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto during a game

Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto during a game against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden. (Feb. 10, 2010) (Credit: Christopher Pasatieri)

NEWARK - Michael Del Zotto took a seat for the third straight game, technically with a sore groin/abdomen that kept him out of practice on Tuesday.

Realistically, Del Zotto is out until John Tortorella decides the 20- year-old defenseman should play over Matt Gilroy, or until one of the other five regulars gets hurt or needs a break.

"He's a mature kid," Tortorella said of Del Zotto, who did practice with 10 teammates in an optional morning skate Wednesday. "He understands, we've been explaining it to him. I don't think there's any gray area in this situation."

Del Zotto, who stayed on the Prudential Center ice well after his teammates as the only spare body, has not gotten down on himself despite not playing since Dec. 18. He was out with the flu against the Lightning and a healthy scratch against the Islanders.

"He should be positive because he's a really good player," Tortorella said. "It's a bump and we're going to grind through it and make him a better player."

 

White sent to minors

Todd White, who was a healthy scratch for 19 of the Rangers' 37 games, was sent down to Connecticut. With Mats Zuccarello fitting into the lineup and Dale Weise another possibility to fill in,

White - who has now cleared waivers three times this year - went down.

"Honestly, he's 35 and we're looking to try and develop the team," Tortorella said. "Weise has come up and played a good game, you may see him again. Zuccarello's up here now. We're trying to build our team with youth."

 

Christensen out

Erik Christensen went hard into the Devils net midway through the second period and suffered a sprained right knee. Weise was recalled after the game.

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